Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Victim Murdered over an Insult

Posted: 06/06/2019

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Major Crimes Unit obtained a conviction against a man who murdered the victim over an insult.  Christopher Leon Clark, 37, was convicted of First Degree Murder.  Upon conviction, Judge Steve Sword sentenced Clark to serve life in prison.

In a three-day trial, Assistant District Attorneys Hector Sanchez and Leslie Nassios explained to the jury that on April 20, 2017, Clark knocked on the door at 1211 Trigg Street.  The victim, Walter Neal, let Clark into the residence.  Once inside the residence, Clark confronted the victim about an insult Neal made to Clark earlier in the day.  The victim was sitting on a couch when Clark pulled a handgun and shot Neal three times at close range.  Knoxville Police Department Investigator Preston Whillock interviewed witnesses, followed leads, and confirmed that Clark was the shooter.  Clark turned himself in the next day.

After the jury returned its verdict, prosecutors called the victim’s family to put on victim-impact testimony, telling the Court about their loss.  Judge Sword imposed a life sentence meaning Clark must serve fifty-one years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

“A man lost his life over an insult in this senseless crime,” said DA Allen.  “This dangerous, violent offender is exactly where he needs to be.”

Clark has a previous state conviction for Voluntary Manslaughter and a federal conviction for Taking a Motor Vehicle by Force with the Intent to Cause Death or Serious Bodily Injury.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or sean.mcdermott@knoxcounty.org.  For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at www.knoxcounty.org/dag and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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City County Building 400 Main Street
Suite 168
Knoxville, TN 37902